February/March 2007

Medication Update

Januvia (sitagliptin) is a new drug recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Januvia works by blocking an enzyme that breaks down proteins needed for insulin release.  By blocking this enzyme, the proteins aren’t broken down and insulin release is promoted when it is needed.

This new drug is oral so it doesn’t need to be injected.  It also only works when blood glucose levels are high so there is no risk of hypoglycemia.

Unlike many other medications, Januvia doesn’t have a side effect of weight gain.  The other big plus is that it can be taken just once a day.  Januvia can be used by itself or with other medications.

Side effects that might occur are stuffy or runny nose, headache, sore throat, or head cold.

Because Januvia works to enhance insulin secretion, it is not appropriate for those with type 1 diabetes because they have no insulin to secrete.

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